Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Passion for Simplicity

Our Design = Passionate People series continues with, Steve Gordon of Rockford Contractors .  Steve is a very successful businessman who started Rockford Contractors from the ground up.  I call him, Mike Holmes (from HGTV), because not only is he a contractor but he also is from Canada.  You will be hearing a lot more from him in the future as he will be a regular on Modern Earth Design, giving advice on having a solid home and a variety of different projects.

Passion for Simplicity ~ Steve Gordon
Growing up in Newfoundland Canada, I was given a unique opportunity that few ever get  to experience. Growing up we would go for hikes in the woods, as we became thirsty we would take a drink from the streams.When we wanted a snack we would pick the raspberries or blueberries or even drop a line in the stream and pull out a trout. Never fearing that the water or food may be polluted or bad for you.  
(Corner Brook, Newfoundland)
 I never realized until moving from that island in the Atlantic that that isn't the norm, but actually a rarity. 

My  father had built a little saw mill in the shed behind the house. We would cut trees in the winter and pull them out on sleds behind snow machines. As we needed lumber we would saw the lumber needed from the logs we cut. None of the logs would go to waist as we would take the sides of the logs called "slabs", cut them up to heat our home during the long winters. 

My dad cut lumber to make everything from  kitchen cabinets to hope chests for my sister to all the lumber needed to build our new home.  

I am now 33years old and living In Illinois. I am married to my wife, Lyndsey and we have 2 boys, Grant, will be  4 this august and Layton, is 2. One of the concerns I have raising my boys is that they would not get to experience any of those simple things I enjoyed as a child.

My son Grant has recently grown out of his toddler bed, so we went to the local furniture stores looking for a replacement. The first thing I noticed was that the beds available were not going to hold up . I mean, their my boys and if they are going to treat the bed the way my brother and I did, these beds would not make it thru the first round of a wrestling match! We then went looking for solid wood beds. We found a few but they were priced way to high for us. As I was looking at these solid wood beds I remembered the old saw mill my dad had and if he needed a bed he built it. We got in the car and on the way home I looked up a local saw mill about 30 minutes away. I took Grant to the mill, we picked out some ash wood to build the bed out of. We chose ash lumber because it is a very hard wood but easy to work with and looks great when sanded.

It took us 2 full days for Grant and I to build the bed, a little longer than it would have taken my dad but in the end it looks great and Grant is so proud of the bed he helped his dad build. 

 I also am surprised at how good it made me feel building a bed with my son, one that he will probably be able to pass on to his children.


  1. good stuff! :o) makes MaKelly so so happy! :o)
    can't wait to show PopPopTom :o)

  2. I love this true story...Steve and son together building a bed, how great moment you put already in your son memories, you are good father, your son never forget this. God bless your family Steve, and your business too.

  3. That is something he will never forget! That's precious! I love Mike Holmes! We are big fans, watch his show all the time, ay?

    You asked how I gave up worry. One thought at a time girl - I had to grab the thought - examine it - and say - well, that's just worry - and replace it with a thought of 'plenty' - 'everything will work out' etc..it was a long hard process, but it's been SO worth it. So nice 'meeting' you.


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